Out of hours placement scheme

The Emergency Duty Service (EDS) provides placements for vulnerable children outside office hours with experienced foster carers who have been approved through the foster panel process.

Carers on the EDS rota can be extended or exempted to take EDS placements if the placement falls outside the terms of their approval or placement availability.

Any extension or exemption will only be for the period of the emergency placement which will be up to 5pm on the next working day (Longer for weekends and Bank Holiday periods). As from 8.30am on the next working day the child’s social worker together with Placement Referrals will be responsible for identifying a further placement.

In exceptional circumstances carers may be asked to offer a placement for a longer period, where they have a vacancy or with the agreement of the Fostering Service Manager, on an extension or exemption.

When a placement is required EDS will contact available carers to check out suitability to place, taking into account other children already living there. If a carer is named as available on the rota they will be expected to offer a placement when requested to do so, unless they consider their household to be “at risk”.

EDS will inform Placement Referrals of all placements made, including where a carer has found it necessary to refuse a placement.

Carers will be given all available information including appropriate Looked after Children documents at the time of placement. Outside office hours the information may be very limited, however EDS must ensure that carers have basic details and are clear about who to contact on the next working day.

Availability will be for a 7 day period Monday to Monday (or Tuesday if a Bank Holiday Period). Carers can stay on the rota for successive weeks if carer is in agreement.

Children can only be placed on the scheme via EDS. In exceptional circumstances, placements may be made during office hours but only by Placement Referrals, with the agreement of the Fostering Service Manager.

Placements cannot be made by the Children’s social workers or managers and carers must not accept placements without an approach from EDS or Placement Referrals.

It is a requirement of the scheme that one carer is at home and available to care for the child in placement until 5pm the next working day, unless previously agreed. 


In addition to a pro rata rate of the fostering allowances, foster carers will receive £50 as a one off payment. If a carer takes a sibling group they will receive the following payment: £75 for two siblings and £100 for 3 siblings or more.

Placement Referrals is responsible for liaising with carers and their Fostering social worker and drawing up a rota to send to EDS. The rota will be updated weekly.

Placement Service Telephone Number: 01785 277724

Email Address: placementreferrals@staffordshire.gov.uk